I wrote up some thoughts I've had about design optimization, design complexity, and additive manufacturing. They're things that I've been increasingly struck with over the past month; it was nice to get them down on paper.
Also I finished The Toyota way and am looking for a new audiobook to listen to, preferably on the kinds of topics that I cover in this newsletter. Shoot me a note with ideas!
- A pretty interesting article about NREC, Carnegie Mellon's robotics center, and Uber. Research institutions are weird.
- An O'Reilly article from a few months ago, written by the CEO of Distributed Microfactories, on the "environmental systems damage" of auto manufacturing.
- A serious question: How do you convince big companies to stop putting interesting stuff in powerpoints that they share by email? Or better yet, build a business that extracts the value that's lost by (relatively good) presentations like this one being basically impossible to find unless you ask the right sales rep the right question?
- Autodesk bought netfabb. Man.
- Home energy storage systems are kind of blowing up.
- Materialise is releasing a build processor for Arcam's EBM machines. Given my recent experience with Magics, I find this a little sad.
- Melting metal with magnets. Watch this until the end.
- Also in Uber news, it looks like they're getting close to having driverless cars actually on the streets - at the University of Arizona.
- Lyft is actually pretty popular late at night. Also: data journalists should post their data publicly.
- Clearpath's OTTO warehouse robot is pretty cool, and designed to carry palletized loads.
- Tyler Cowen on the Volkswagen scandal, and how much of the popular reaction to it is off the mark.
- Fatigue life is probabilistic. Just a reminder that we really don't understand the physical world that well.
- Uber is a good opportunity to explain the difference between (defensible) demand-side and (non defensible) supply-side economies of scale.
- I placed a bet about the long term need for wind tunnels (vs. pure CFD optimization). If you hear evidence one way or the other, let me know :)
- The inventor of the bagel making machine died. His legacy is mixed.
Stuff that doesn't fit into my dumb/arbitrary categories.
- Ingrid Burrington tries to visit an NSA data center.
- A good article on the Cheese Board Collective, which is awesome.
- It's insane to me that Marcel Duchamp's estate is blocking people from reproducing his chess set. C'mon, French copyright law. Get with it.